Freo's View

FUTURE OF EAST FREO’S ROYAL GEORGE IN DOUBT

 

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The future of the heritage-listed Royal George Hotel in Duke Street, East Fremantle is in jeopardy after the East Fremantle Council on Wednesday approved a scheme amendment that will only allow six storey buildings in the precinct, without discretionary additional height.

Saracen properties have proposed to refurbish the beautiful old building but to make that financially lucrative for the developers they wanted a 21-storey slim tower on the vacant site behind the hotel.

It is highly unlikely that Saracen will now continue with their proposal, but abandon it, which will severely bring into doubt the future of the Royal George, that has been vacant and derelict for far too many years.

It would be a real shame if a compromise can’t be found, but the new scheme amendment does not allow for much give and take.

Roel Loopers

ROYAL GEORGE HEIGHT A HUGE PROBLEM

 

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It will be an interesting Planning Committee session at the Town of East Fremantle tonight, with Council debating a Scheme Amendment for the historic Royal George Hotel site at Duke Street.

Saracen Properties have proposed a 21-storey building behind the heritage listed building, but that has received huge community criticism, as was to be expected.

There is not yet a planning proposal by Saracen at the Town of East Fremantle and the final decision authority is the WA JDAP, but the proposed Scheme Amendment to be discussed this evening is to only allow a seven-storey building that does not exceed 36 metres on the vacant part behind the former hotel.

Several public submissions even argued against a seven-storey building and want only 3-4 storeys behind the heritage building

Saracen made it clear during community consultation that they can’t spend millions of dollars on refurbishing the old Royal George unless they get considerable height allowance. A much lower building is not financially viable according to the proponents.

It is known that JDAP and SAT do overrule local government decisions, so even if Council tonight decide to approve the proposed Scheme Amendment Saracen might still put forward the 21-storey building at JDAP.

It would be an utter shame if nothing would happen again and if the Royal George remained a vacant and derelict eyesore for another ten years.

Roel Loopers

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ROYAL GEORGE TOWER REVEALED

 

 

 

I received these artist’s impressions of the proposed new slim tower behind the Royal George hotel in East Fremantle from developers Saracen Properties.

The developers plan to fully renovate the beautiful heritage listed Royal George for tourist accommodation, a gin distillery, bar, restaurants, etc.

They also want to build a 15 storey elliptical spike set on a four storey podium along Duke Street, and create a community square between the former Brush Factory building and the Royal George.

The architect for the project is highly-regarded Michael Patroni of the Fremantle spaceagency.

Roel Loopers

 

TALL DEVELOPMENT FOR ROYAL GEORGE HOTEL

 

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The development proposal by Saracen Properties for the Royal George hotel site in East Fremantle is as exciting as it will be controversial.

The plans for the restoration of the gorgeous heritage building are great and would see the old building, that has been vacant for far too many years, be brought back to life and activation.

The entire building would be restored, including the massive and very high cellars below, that would house a gin distillery or winemaking facility.

On Thursday afternoon Joel Saracen took me on a tour inside the building while our great Freo architect Michael Patroni of the High Street Spaceagency explained his thinking behind the concept.

The Royal George would house a cafe, restaurant, bar, function and community meeting rooms and tourist accommodation, while they would also develop a new public realm between the former Brush Factory building and the Royal George.

On the flip side all the expensive heritage restoration needs to be paid for and the proposal is for a 19 storey slim elliptical spike that is set back from a so called podium in Duke Street. It would house 40 large apartments. The building would have ‘fins’ to make it visually more attractive and would become an iconic landmark pointing to the Fremantle area.

The height along Duke Street would be similar to the height of the Brush Factorey and Royal George.

Parking for residents would be provided for inside the building with a car stacker, but does not include parking for the restaurant and bar patrons.

I know height is always going to be an issue in Fremantle, but I believe that a really well designed slim and very high building could be accommodated in that location. No doubt many locals will disagree with me.

There is a very nice brochure that explains most things but I am flabbergasted by the ‘clever’ PR of explaining why a taller building is better than a shorter and wider building, and showing the ugly shorter box, but not actually showing the proposed 19-storey slim tower. The cynical public will no doubt ask what the developers are trying to hide by not showing the tower.

The decision making authority will be the WA State Development Assessment Panel, not East Fremantle Council.

Roel Loopers

PS: I was promised on Thursday that the developers would email me some images, but still have not received any at 10 am on Saturday so just copied some from the brochure. I publish a daily blog not a quarterly magazine. :>)

 

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CHRISTMAS BAZAAR AT FREO ARTS CENTRE

Posted in aboriginal, christmas, city of fremantle, fremantle arts centre, Uncategorized by freoview on December 2, 2017

 

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The CHRISTMAS BAZAAR opened at the Fremantle  Arts Centre last night and will be on all weekend from 10am to 5pm.

While there don’t forget to visit the galleries for the delightful IN CAHOOTS Aboriginal art exhibition by artists from remote communities.

If you decide to go to the FAC tomorrow you can combine your trip and also visit the lovely George Street Festival in East Fremantle, just down the road from the FAC.

 

Gorgeous George will be open from 1-7 pm on Sunday in the street lined with flowering jacaranda trees.

Art, craft, food and other stalls and live entertainment. Don’t miss it. It’s fun!

Roel Loopers

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CHRISTMAS BAZAAR AT FREO ARTS CENTRE

Posted in christmas, city of fremantle, fremantle arts centre, Uncategorized by freoview on November 30, 2017

 

BAZAAR Dec 1-3

 

A reminder that the Fremantle Arts Centre Christmas Bazaar will be on this weekend.

It starts tomorrow from 5-10 pm and then Saturday and Sunday from  9am to 5pm.

Local art and craft, jewellery, clothes, ceramics, glass, etc. for sale, so great Christmas presents to be found there.

On Sunday is also the George Street Festival in East Fremantle, just down the road from the FAC, so easy to combine the two events.

Roel Loopers

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EAST FREMANTLE ELECTION RESULTS

Posted in east fremantle, elections, Uncategorized by freoview on October 22, 2017

 

East Fremantle Mayor Jim O’Neill retained his seat at the local council election yesterday.

In Preston Point Ward Deputy Mayor Michael McPhail was reelected and also Tony Natale.

Richmons Ward was won by Andrew McPhail and Tony Watkins got in Woodside Ward unopposed.

 

Roel Loopers

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MISSING EAST FREMANTLE MAN FOUND

Posted in city of fremantle, police, Uncategorized by freoview on October 19, 2017

 

Great news! Missing 88-year-old East Fremantle man Francisco Rebelo was found alive and well early this morning in a park on the corner of East and Burt Street in East Fremantle.

Police, SES volunteers and the Fremantle City community safety officers had all been searching for Francisco.

I drove around the area for an hour late yesterday afternoon, but failed to find him, so am am relieved for him and his family.

Rebelo is quite a familiar face around Fremantle, so this is a great outcome after he was missing for two cold nights.

 

Roel Loopers

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SEARCH FOR MISSING 88-YEAR-OLD EAST FREO MAN

Posted in city of fremantle, people, police, Uncategorized by freoview on October 18, 2017

 

The underpass at Peter Hughes Drive into Fremantle Port looked like a crime scene this morning, with a lot of police, SES and Fremantle City safety officers there, but it turned out they are looking for missing 88-year-old East Fremantle man Franco Robello.

Robello has white has white hair and a white beard, so should you see him around please contact police.

 

Roel Loopers

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WOODSIDE FOR AGED CARE

Posted in aged, east fremantle, fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on August 10, 2017

 

Woodside

 

The former Woodside maternity hospital in East Fremantle has been sold to a consortium for $ 13 million, and will be developed into aged-care facilities.

The gorgeous building in Dalgety Street was built in 1902 and is considered a prime example of Victorian Italianate architecture.

 

Roel Loopers

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